The Flathead National Forest is planning to conduct spring prescribed fire projects, when weather, fuel conditions, and air quality become favorable. Smoke will be visible from various places in the Flathead Valley depending on the location of the burn units and weather conditions.
Each project follows a prescribed fire burn plan. The prescribed fire projects are located and designed to be controlled to reduce the potential for adverse effects, or to escape as a wildland fire, the Forest Service notes. These projects will be in compliance with Montana air quality standards and coordinated with Montana State Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the impacts of smoke to neighbors, cooperators, and surrounding communities. Local projects include:
Tally Lake Ranger District
Beaver Lake North 30 – 34 acre natural fuels understory burn to reduce fuel in the Wildland Urban Interface and improve big game habitat approximately 4 miles west of Whitefish.
Logan Creek 200 – 180 acre natural fuels understory burn to reduce fuel in the Wildland Urban Interface and improve big game habitat North end of Tally Lake.
Hungry Horse District
Ninko Cabin Fuels Reduction — this burn targets 3 acres of hand piles associated with fuels reduction adjacent to Ninko cabin along Whale creek road north of Polebridge.
Big Creek Administration Site — this burn project targets 3 acres of hand piles adjacent to the Big Creek learning center facility north of Columbia Falls.
Firefighter Project — this burn includes 75 acres of site preparation in four units associated with logging activities on Firefighter Mountain along the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir.
Hungry Horse Ranger Station— this burn project targets hand piles near the town of Hungry Horse along the lower dam road and south of the ranger station. In addition, 5 acres of grass and shrubs on the HH/GV administrative site is targeted for prescribed fire.
Coram Pasture Rx—Proposal to burn 20 acres of the Coram pasture administrative site to reduce encroachment of woody vegetation and enhance forage for the livestock. This burn is located between Martin City and Coram.